Oral Answers to Questions — Treatment of Children, Hong Kong.

– in the House of Commons on 7th March 1922.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Griffiths Mr Thomas Griffiths , Pontypool

23.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make an investigation as to whether, under the mui tsai system of Hong Kong, the mui tsai girls of any household do, upon the death of the owner, become the property of concubines in the household, and are disposed of by them for cash, with other elements in the estate of the deceased owner?

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

24.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the records of the Colonial Office show that mui tsai of Hong Kong, of quite tender years, are frequently compelled to labour over 12 hours a day, and that cases have been established in the open court where these children have been forced to work up to as long as 18 and 20 hours in one day?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I informed the hon. Member for Bedwellty on the 21st of February that I wished to exchange telegraphic correspondence with the Governor of Hong Kong on the subject. Unfortunately, as hon. Members are aware, a grave situation has developed in Hong Kong in connection with the strike there. The Governor's hands have been exceptionally full, and I learn that the Secretary for Chinese Affairs, who is particularly concerned with mui tsai, has been working night and day. The Governor has promised to answer my inquiries at the earliest possible moment, and in the meantime I must ask the hon. Members to allow me to defer any statement on the subject of mui tsai.